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Action-Hub.Com – Activists United

Interviewer and Writer – Michael Campbell – Supernerdland.com

(Update 04/29/2016 — Action-Hub.com is no longer ac­tive, and the site is down.)

(Disclosure: The in­ter­view­er is ac­quain­tances with the in­ter­vie­wees. SuperNerdLand has no con­nec­tion to the cre­ation and main­te­nance of Action-Hub. One per­son has re­quest­ed me to keep them anony­mous, one per­son has re­quest­ed me to use their han­dle, and the oth­er wish­es to use their web­site han­dle.)

Activism. That word has many dif­fer­ent mean­ings to many dif­fer­ent peo­ple. No mat­ter what it means to you, one needs tools and a space to or­ga­nize. Join SuperNerdLand as we in­ter­view the team be­hind Action-Hub.com, a site that wish­es to ac­com­mo­date ac­tivists of every stripe. By pro­vid­ing users with the tools to cre­ate their own com­mu­ni­ties while stay­ing in­ter­con­nect­ed so­cial­ly, they hope to help stream­line mod­ern ac­tivism. Expect bugs, changes, & more news as the site de­vel­ops.

Note: This in­ter­view is about as in­for­mal as one can get. Expect raw lan­guage not suit­able for younger read­ers. IRC Logs were edit­ed for read­abil­i­ty & to keep answers/context to­geth­er.


SuperNerdLand: [How would you] de­scribe your­self in re­la­tion to Action Hub?

HOC: I was a hard­core cha­nol­o­gist who is now in­volved in grass­roots move­ments. I was asked by Anon to help with a few mat­ters as I helped out on a num­ber of oth­er pop­u­lar ac­tivism sites.

CTP: I’m American, big on get­ting mon­ey out of pol­i­tics and keep­ing ba­sic con­sti­tu­tion­al rights in­tact. I’m the Moderator of the site (aka the fo­rum cop). I my­self have mod­er­at­ed 2 oth­er sites be­fore this, to be un­named.

ANON: I’ve been in­volved in IRL ac­tivism since the 90’s in var­i­ous forms, to me free­dom of speech and in­for­ma­tion is the most vi­tal val­ue in any democ­ra­cy. Online I’ve been in­volved with Chanology since 2008, I par­tic­i­pat­ed heav­i­ly dur­ing the Iran cri­sis in 2009 as well.  Professionally, I have 5 years ex­pe­ri­ence in com­mu­ni­ty man­age­ment which can be an as­set. I speak French and English flu­ent­ly and my main goal with ac­tion hub is to pro­vide a safe space for every­one to ex­press their opin­ion and or­ga­nize, re­gard­less of whether I agree with them or not.

 

SuperNerdLand: Alright. What would each of you say is the pur­pose of Action-Hub?

CTP: A hub/center piece for all ac­tivism.

ANON: The main pur­pose is to pro­vide a safe haven for groups of ac­tivists that need a space to or­ga­nize and dis­cuss with­out fear of cen­sor­ship or be­ing banned, the only sce­nario in which some­one could be banned is for il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty. In the long run I would like to im­ple­ment tools to fa­cil­i­tate the task for groups to or­ga­nize and man­age them­selves.

I dream of be­ing a jan­i­tor that does not in­ter­fere with what­ev­er shenani­gans you are plan­ning

An ex­treme ex­am­ple: if the KKK lost their web­site and need­ed a space to or­ga­nize, as long as they don’t plan any­thing il­le­gal I would let them use the site.

 

SuperNerdLand: So you see this be­com­ing a neu­tral ground for any sorts of ac­tivism then?

ANON: Yes. You put it in few­er words than I and so elo­quent­ly. lol

 

SuperNerdLand: Are there any as­sur­ances that user IDs, and data are go­ing to be kept anony­mous? Aside from what they will­ing­ly let known, of course. You can’t pro­tect some­one who will not pro­tect them­selves, af­ter all.

ANON: We do our very best to keep all user data pri­vate, we use Cloudflare and SSL; only the ad­mins have ac­cess to IP logs for se­cu­ri­ty pur­pose. But we will nev­er share those un­less it’s re­quest­ed by law en­force­ment and it’s a le­git­i­mate re­quest.

CTP: We will do what­ev­er we can to pro­tect user in­for­ma­tion, ex­cept go to jail to pro­tect some dum­b­ass who got in le­git le­gal trou­ble.

ANON: I’ve mod­er­at­ed whyweprotest.net for 3 years as Hicks. Never abused the info I had ac­cess to. but I wrote a neat TOS & pri­va­cy pol­i­cy so that its clear for every user

HOC: We will also be hav­ing the site rou­tine­ly pen­test­ed* by a few no­table people/groups in the se­cu­ri­ty in­dus­try who wish to help.

 

SuperNerdLand: How much do users have to do to stay anony­mous on action-hub?

ANON: I don’t pre­tend to be an ex­pert at se­cu­ri­ty, but I took every mea­sure I am aware of to make sure that as soon as a[t] user signup, none of the info they do not want to share is made pub­lic. And as HOC point­ed out, there are mem­bers of the chaos com­put­er club in Germany, who agreed to pen­test* the site for us for free

CTP: You may use your real name it’s up to the user. Being anony­mous is not a re­quire­ment

ANON: Users may sign-up with their so­cial me­dia ac­counts if they wish. But then its on them [to stay anony­mous.]

CTP: ^

 

SuperNerdLand: Alright. So of the data re­ceived by users, what do you keep?

ANON: We only keep IP logs for se­cu­ri­ty pur­pos­es and only me & HOC have ac­cess to those. Not even CTP 😛 No Google an­a­lyt­ics, no track­ing of any kind.

HOC: Email ad­dress­es are also stored by the fo­rum soft­ware but we en­cour­age peo­ple to set up throw­away ac­counts

ANON: Oh yes, that too.

HOC: Mailinator etc are ac­cept­ed.

 

SuperNerdLand: So then IPs are kept with users then?

ANON: Yes

HOC: Yeah.

 

SuperNerdLand: Regarding the ToS; Under what na­tion does this site fall un­der, the laws that hang over it? That is to say, where is it host­ed, and why?

ANON: Canada, be­cause I live here.

CTP: But users do­ing il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ty, if caught, will be un­der their coun­tries laws.

ANON: Well that de­pends. I’m not forced to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to for­eign coun­tries un­less its man­dat­ed by Canadian law. I won’t hes­i­tate to tell lawyers to go fuck them­selves if I legal­ly can.

CTP: No I’m just say­ing Americans can’t do il­le­gal stuff that’s le­gal in Canada and think they can get away with it

ANON: I’m just not gonna risk my own ass to keep users out of trou­ble. They have to have some lev­el of re­spon­si­bil­i­ty for their own ac­tions. I call this the “I’m not your mom clause.” 😛

 

SuperNerdLand: Alright, as for in­tend­ed use: Do you view this as just a site for or­ga­niz­ing and com­mu­ni­cat­ing sen­si­tive or op­er­a­tion type of stuff? Or would you ter­ri­bly mind it if start­ed be­ing used as a sort of pro-free speech so­cial net­work, as well as its in­tend­ed pur­pose?

ANON: I think it can be both. I want to give users as much free­dom as pos­si­ble to or­ga­nize them­selves and make of it what­ev­er they want. As long as its activism/free-speech re­lat­ed.

CTP: How I like to de­scribe it is as a port for ships. But in­stead of ships, it’s ac­tivism com­mu­ni­ties.

ANON: The mod­el we are aim­ing for, is that users will be able to cre­ate and mod­er­ate their own sub groups, pri­vate or pub­lic.

CTP: Instead of hav­ing to make your own web­site we have all the tools to run your own com­mu­ni­ty.

ANON: Well, at least we will even­tu­al­ly have more tools. For now we have a fea­ture sim­i­lar to Google Docs, and pri­vate or pub­lic groups that can be mod­er­at­ed by the users who cre­ate them. But there is more to com[e]. And ob­vi­ous­ly, the so­cial me­dia stream, old school fo­rums..

CTP: This won’t be a place for trolls to come in and ha­rass oth­er users ei­ther. We will keep the users safe from threats and ha­rass­ment

ANON: Yeah. I can’t af­ford to get in trou­ble be­cause of a user’s ac­tions. We are do­ing this out of pock­et and out of good will. But as I said, I’ll do every­thing I legal­ly can to pro­tect my users, while keep­ing my ass safe. This in­cludes users I hate, lol.

 

SuperNerdLand: So, with all this in mind, where do you think the user­base will come from?

CTP: On top of po­lit­i­cal ac­tivism we are go­ing to use the site to help or­ga­nize for do­nat­ed re­lat­ed or­ga­ni­za­tions

 

SuperNerdLand: Ah, char­i­ty as well?

CTP: Like Extra Life. I hope to cre­ate a huge team for that.

ANON: Now, that is a great ques­tion, we have been so busy work­ing on in­fra­struc­ture that we haven’t planned out­reach yet. I guess this in­ter­view is the first step. :)

HOC: Organizing char­i­ty gam­ing ses­sions as a group and so­cial me­dia. Also [with] re­lat­ed fo­rums [whom] we are still in touch.

ANON:  ^

 

SuperNerdLand: Alright. Outreach is still be­ing planned then, aside from this?

CTP: Yes

 

SuperNerdLand: Where do you each see this site go­ing in five years? Do you see in­ter­est pan­ning the site out that long?

CTP: On my end in 5 years, god will­ing, the site is most­ly com­mu­ni­ty run with very lit­tle staff in­ter­fer­ence.

ANON: ^ pret­ty much. I would like to keep things run­ning smooth­ly, par­tic­i­pate in my own projects. But for the most part I would like to see groups or­ga­nize and run them­selves.

CTP: We will not push our own agen­das.

ANON: I want to be the re­pair­man, not the com­mu­ni­ty leader, neu­tral is the key­word.

HOC: Yeah, see­ing groups run by them­selves and only in­ter­ven­ing if ab­solute­ly nec­es­sary. Communities should be giv­en the free­dom to plan with­out some­one breath­ing over their shoul­ders.

CTP: I want to de­vel­op a mod staff I can trust then hand over the keys and work my own projects.

 

SuperNerdLand: Just as hands off as Hotwheelz has been re­gard­ing 8chan?

ANON: Minus the child pornog­ra­phy yes. 😛

HOC: Yeah, a very hands off ap­proach. From my ex­pe­ri­ence site own­ers (if they are too in­volved in the com­mu­ni­ty) cause dra­ma with por­tions of the user-base on the site. I want to be able to give them room.

ANON: If any­thing, the way I see our role, is to re­spond to the needs and re­quest of the users.

CTP: Just to note we hope to at­tract “real peo­ple” not just anons if that makes sense.

 

SuperNerdLand: To these fu­ture users of the web­site, not just anon, but char­i­ty or­ga­ni­za­tions, non-radical ex­trem­ists, free speech ad­vo­cates, et al.. What would be your first mes­sages to these folk?

ANON: If you lack com­put­er skills and you would like to have tools that fit your needs to or­ga­nize and build an ac­tivism group on­line, we of­fer you a space and we will lis­ten to your re­quests and try to ac­co­mo­date you the best we can. We will han­dle the nerd shit so you can fo­cus on what mat­ters.

HOC: Please re­spect the oth­er com­mu­ni­ties and we will do all we can to ac­com­mo­date you, would be mine.

CTP: Don’t just bang drums on face­book. Use our site to make the change you want to see

 

SNL: Alright. With that, I think that con­cludes this in­ter­view.


We want to thank the folks from Action-Hub for this in­ter­view. If you have any ques­tions or want to check out more of what Action-Hub has to of­fer then head on over to their site.

Further clar­i­fi­ca­tions

* Pentest/Pentested: The act of hav­ing a site be­ing bro­ken into to de­ter­mine if & where there are any com­mon or un­com­mon se­cu­ri­ty prob­lems that need to be fixed.

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Michael Campbell
My name is Michael Campbell. I am a bud­ding writer, pro­duc­er, and the content-manager for off-site opin­ion pieces. I fo­cus on Early Access Game Reviews, Traditional Games Media (Primarily Pen & Paper Role-playing Games), Steam Games, Origin, and Indie Titles. My in­ter­ests in­clude draw­ing re­al­ly ter­ri­bly, run­ning far too many RPG games a week and hor­ri­fy­ing my co-workers and friends. I also get re­al­ly an­gry on Twitter at in­jus­tice. I am also like­ly go­ing to be­come a fix­ture in the ed­i­to­r­i­al sec­tion of this site, due to the above anger. You can reach me at M.Campbell@supernerdland.com if you have ques­tions or com­ments; As well, you can reach me @EvilBobDALMYT on Twitter to see some of that anger in mo­tion.
Michael Campbell

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